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Stippling is an art technique. It is a method of drawing, engraving, or painting using dots or short strokes to create shading. The denser the dots, the darker the apparent shade.

Stippling is done with a single color, as opposed to a similar style, pointillism, which is done with lots of different colors.

The third issue of Artforum, a zine that focused on fanart techiniques, examples, and reviews, has an extensive article by Teegar Taylor on stippling.

Some Fan Comments

A fan offered the following feedback on Teegar Taylor's stipple technique:
I was fascinated with Teegar Taylor's "Tools of the Trade. I know all too well the headaches stipple drawing can give an artist. I enjoyed the way she supplied examples of her drawings to illustrate the evolution of her artwork. Stipple ink is a technique one cannot rush, and if it is, it SHOWS. It takes me 15-20 hours to complete a stipple and Ms. Taylor, it only makes me appreciate all the more your talented efforts.[1]
A fan's comments on art in The Faces of Time #2, a Doctor Who zine:
An impressive pull-out poster, by Deborah Walsh, a melange of the Doctor and various companions is the second most striking art offering thish (although I am getting tired of the stipple style). [2]
A fan wrote about an illo in Eridani #8, a Star Trek: TNG zine:
In the piece by Wendy Purcell, the delicate pen and ink stippling of her subject is overpowered by the stronger, more forceful background, but at least she attempted to do something with her portrait to relate it to the story it accompanies. [3]
A fan's comments on art by M.A. Smith in the Beauty and the Beast zine Destiny:
...there is M.A. Smith, whose creative ability with stippling is undoubtedly a source of inspiration for the pen and ink artist, and a source of great frustration to those artists like myself to whom pen and ink is an unsolved mystery. [4]
A fan had this opinion:
...the best in the issue is Dale Holman's "A Portfolio of Women in Science Fiction Literature." Holmes takes several sf books and presents her interpretations of different female characters. The pieces are not necessarily visions of what Holman believes they should physically look like; rather they are her interpretations of their emotional conflicts, their role in their societies, what they want to offer others. Predictably, some readers have reacted negatively to Holman's art, one even complaining that her figures are "out of proportion," not understanding that that may be the whole point. Fandom seems to think that the human body should be inviolate. Holman offers us a powerful vision, and uses the human body to present an idea. Her drawings are so different from fandom's usual fare because it moves; it breathes, and even attacks. Yes, Virginia, art can do something other than illustrate (with that ever monotonous stipple zip-a-tone) Luke and Han and Kirk and Spock. After a while, all those drawings begin to look like they're drawn by the same artist. [5]
A fan wrote about art in the Star Wars zine Combining Forces:
As to the other illos, the best are Kim Gianna's. Her renderings of Luke, Lando, Han, Leia, Kirk, Spock and McCoy are gorgeous, stippled likenesses. [6]
A fan artist, Marianne Müller, wrote of some her own techniques:
My favorite medium? That is not so easy to answer, as I really like to use different techniques and media. Playing around with a new one and such. Pencil works I like a lot to do sketches and play around and some drawings just call for it and are the easiest for me. Inks are very versatile. Stipple is the most time consuming, as you use only points to make the drawing. When I want to work really hard on a drawing, I use the finest pointed pens you can get. The finer the most delicate, but as said very time consuming, and time is not what I have always. [7]



  1. ^ LOC in Artforum issue #2
  2. ^ from Universal Translator #27
  3. ^ from Psst... Hey Kid, Wanna Buy a Fanzine? #1
  4. ^ from Psst... Hey Kid, Wanna Buy a Fanzine? #2
  5. ^ from Universal Translator #19
  6. ^ from Scoundrel #5
  7. ^ from Dribbling Scribbling Women: The History of Our Art
  8. ^ from The K/S Press #58
  9. ^ from Psst... Hey Kid, Wanna Buy a Fanzine? #5
  10. ^ from The K/S Press #6